Liberal republicanism refers to the type of political system used in the United States of America and elsewhere. It is not a reference to a political party.
The word “republicanism” refers to one’s support for a republican system of government. The modern concept of a republic is a state in which the people and their elected representatives hold supreme power, and which has an elected president, or a president or prime minister nominated by an elected parliament, rather than an active monarch. This definition of a republic requires a separation of the powers to make the laws (legislating) and to put the laws into practice (executing). In a republic, only an elected executive (president, prime minister, governor, or mayor) may direct a bureaucracy to execute the laws.
Liberalism signifies one’s prioritization of the concept of liberty. Liberalism today emphasizes personal liberty within a constitutional system of equal and impartial laws. Political systems can be defined as liberal when political and civil rights are well protected for everyone, equally, by the law and by the citizens themselves. A liberal system of government displays those qualities.
If a republic is accompanied by political rights and civil liberties, then it is a liberal republic.
Liberal republicanism is therefore the support for such a system.
For more about different kinds of political systems, read these short courses:
- America: Republic or Democracy? Describes key concepts used to describe our political system.
- Democracy is Precious. Describes life under illiberal and authoritarian regimes.